A Note from Executive Director, Jay McLaughlin
We recognize it has been a challenging year for many. While we certainly have had our difficulties, for Mt. Adams Resource Stewards our list of gratitudes for 2020 is full. Linked here is our latest newsletter, full of updates, imagery and reflections from a few of our staff. Leading my list of things I’m counting blessings on: with a staff that swelled to sixteen (!) – doubling the number of employees from 2019 – everyone stayed healthy and avoided any significant injuries. With the number of folks we had in the field daily (and nightly for the bullfrog team you can read about!) using chainsaws, power tools, chippers and air rifles, this was no small feat. Safety trainings and COVID protocols all played their part; but great staff played the biggest role in limiting the season’s worst injuries to a few nasty bee stings.
You can also read about what might be the accomplishment I am most excited about: the Mt. Adams Community Forest crossed the 1,000 acre mark with two purchases in 2020. Our smallest purchase rounds out our ownership at the Glenwood Valley’s Mill Pond – and will enable us to ensure year-round access and enhanced recreational opportunities. Our largest purchase just east of there and along the spectacular Klickitat River Canyon, diversifies our forest holdings and represented a continued collaborative relationship with Columbia Land Trust and The Conservation Fund. Columbia Land Trust purchased and held the property while we secured a loan from The Conservation Fund to close on the purchase. We look forward to sharing news soon of plans for 2021!
I remain amazed by and am forever grateful to the many members of our community that find creative and generous ways to support MARS in pursuit of our mission. Our Board of Directors navigated multiple Zoom meetings to continue to provide much needed guidance and oversight. We were thrilled to welcome a new board member: Trout Lake resident and retired county judge, Tom Reynolds.
We established an endowment to ensure the long term financial health of the organization. And many of you surprise us with the unexpected gifts, calls and notes of encouragement. Thank you!
We look forward to hopefully see you out and about in 2021!